Did the outcome of voting for president in Wisconsin accurately reflect the intentions of the electors? Concerns have been raised about errors in vote counts produced using electronic technology — were machines hacked? — and a recount may occur. Some reports involving statistical analysis of the results has been discussed in the media recently. These analyses, though, rely on data at the county level. Technology, demographics and other important characteristics of the electorate vary within counties, making it difficult to resolve conclusively whether voting technology (did voters cast paper or electronic ballots?) affected the final tabulation of the vote for president. For this reason, I have examined ward-level data. Wards are the smallest aggregation unit at which vote counts are reported in Wisconsin, and many wards have fewer than 100 voters. My analysis, which relies on using election forensics techniques designed to identify electoral fraud, reveals some reasons to be suspicious about vote patterns in Wisconsin. To be very clear, my analysis cannot prove whether fraud occurred, but it does suggest that it would be valuable to conduct an election audit to resolve such concerns definitively.
… If we could obtain useful measures of ward-level attributes, such as the demographic characteristics of each ward or the voting histories of the voters in each ward, we could attempt regression-style analysis using ward observations. Unfortunately, we lack such data.
If these features occur more often than they should by chance alone, then it is possible that the election results were produced in some other way than by simply recording actual votes.